Patrick Robinson
West Seattle Chamber of Commerce President Dave Montoure spoke before the media and small gathering of people at the dedication ceremonies for the completion of the Spokane Street widening project on Nov. 16.

SLIDESHOW: Spokane Street widening project completion dedicated by Mayor McGinn

Project expected to be under budget by millions

Dignitaries including Mayor Mike McGinn and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce President Dave Montoure gathered beneath the Spokane Street Viaduct Nov. 16 and with a ceremonial ribbon cutting, completed the Spokane Street Viaduct Widening Project.

Originally projected to cost $164 million, the work is now expected to come in under budget by several million dollars.

“This project helps maintain our existing infrastructure for years to come, helping residents, businesses, and freight move more easily and safely to and from West Seattle,” said Mayor Mike McGinn.

Montoure said, "Spokane Street is so critical to the economy of West Seattle. I remember as a young boy on June 11, 1978 when we heard the news that the freighter Chavez had run into one of our bascule bridges severing a tie from Spokane Street. I remember what it did to our economy at the time. It was pretty devastating. There were boarded up shops in the Junction and families and friends left West Seattle because it was just so hard to get into and out of but then fast forward to these past three years. I really commend the folks who have done this work while keeping those connections open."

In a press release from SDOT more details were offered:

Undertaken by the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT), the project doubled the width of the viaduct by building a new structure immediately adjacent to the old structure, which was also refurbished and seismically reinforced. The construction also added a new First Avenue S on/off-ramp and a new eastbound off-ramp to Fourth Avenue S. Ground level Spokane Street was completely reconstructed, and augmented with a sidewalk and multi-use trail. Finally, the project’s artwork enlivens the area below the viaduct with color and images that recollect the natural and cultural history of the location.

Seattle City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, chair of the Transportation Committee, as well as a West Seattle resident said, “As a resident of West Seattle I have already seen how the viaduct has improved travel between West Seattle and I-5 and into downtown Seattle. The widened viaduct is one of the many major road improvements that are key to the success of the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project.”

SDOT Director Peter Hahn reflected upon the length and effect of the construction on the citizens and businesses of West Seattle and SODO. He stated, “We realize that a project of this magnitude and length has had major impacts on those working or living in the area. SDOT would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding over these past few years.” He added, “We are pleased and proud to return this much-improved structure back to the community.”

Funding sources for the $164 million project include federal and state governments, the Port of Seattle, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad and the Bridging the Gap (BTG) levy. The
voter-approved BTG transportation levy provided approximately 40 percent of the project’s cost.

For more details about the project, please visit the project website at http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/spokanestreet.htm

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